TODAY | April 24, 2013
>> along with al roker and natalie morales . let's begin with today's take three. where else can we begin with mr. a.j. clemente. a guest with us later on the "today" show. we're hearing from him for the first time after that little, what are we calling it, a flub on the air? a leak of some expletives, perhaps. he was a young anchor, on his first day on the job in bismarck, north dakota . here's his account this morning with matt and savannah of what happened.
>> what caused those words to come out of your mouth?
>> it's inexcusable, first, to even say those words. but i was looking down. i'm going over my script. van, my co-anchor, happens to be looking at the camera, and she noticed the red light comes on. we actually came on 30 seconds early. i'm going on, you know, the london marathon is my second story. there is literally three names i don't know how to pronounce at all.
>> so you're trying to pronounce them, you're practicing them, and as you kept messing them up, you got frustrated, thinking you still had time before you went on the air. and that's when that stuff came out of your mouth.
>> and a fireball shot came right out of my mouth.
>> the fireball shot.
>> he said it was gut wrenching when he saw the clip. he'd only saw it a couple of times. but the bottom line, he didn't know he was on the air.
>> he didn't have his earpiece.
>> that we hear from the control room . they don't have a stage manager like we do. so, you know, it can happen.
>> it happens.
>> and he points out he shouldn't have said those words, there's no excuse for that, but there are some extenuating circumstances.
>> first day on the job, a bundle of nerves already, and look at your script and you're like, i don't know how to pronounce these names. you can imagine that can get the best of you. and the poor job, he's out of his job, and hopefully somebody will give him another shot.
>> we brought him across the street to " morning joe " where we sat him next to the legend, the man, tom brokaw . so tom brokaw gives a.j. clemente a little pep talk . watch this.
>> i was where you were. i worked out in the midwest. i made a huge gaffe when i was in omaha at a very early age. it wasn't quite as, as explicit as yours was, by any means. on the other hand, it was confined to omaha, because there was no social media , it was dealt with by the local station, they made me --
>> -- come in and kind of gave me a dressing down, and i kind of got to go on with my life. you're the victim of a hot mic , obviously, and nothing goes unremarked upon in our current society.
>> that's so true. that's the difference, too.
>> a.j. went out of his way to say he called my mom right away and said my mom did not raise me to talk like that. that's the one thing he wanted everyone to know. hopefully he gets a second chance.
>> he's a egood guy. and it's character building. the little things in life. he'll get right back on his feet.
>> our take two, if you're traveling today, been anywhere near an airport the last couple of days --
>> i got stuck.
>> tell your story.
>> i was traveling to boston yesterday, which is a 50-minute flight, shuttle. and it took me about 2 1/2 hours to get there, because i was stuck for an hour and a half on the runway, like 25 planes parked, waiting to go off, for liftoff. and on the return, the same deal. so 2 1/2, 2 1/2 hours again coming home .
>> and as you point out, there's a passing of the buck. the pilot comes on and says, if you've got a problem, call the faa. the faa says, don't talk to us, talk to congress who put the sequester in place.
>> the pilots got on and said, it's not the airline's fault, we're sorry you're waiting here on the runway, but you can go online and find a petition to end the furloughs.
>> what happens now with the fines, you know, if you're on a tarmac, if you're on a plane stuck for more --
>> that's a good point.
>> are the airlines responsible for that?
>> the airlines are saying no --
>> are they going to try to get a waiver?
>> they're saying they're not responsible, it's an air traffic control situation, because of the furloughs, they're not able to manpower all of the air traffic control posts. so, you know, therefore, we all end up suffering. and thairi think they're passing the blame around.
>> one third of laguardia flights were delayed.
>> 20% delayed at reagan national in newark and philly. these are central hubs, so there's a ripple effect at any of these airports. there's been the blame game , back and forth in washington yesterday, members of the senate republicans blaming president obama , saying he actually wanted this to force someone's hand.
>> you wonder now, when it hits, you know, the travel system and the conveniences of everyday life , things that you take for granted, are people going to really start pushing.
>> you know who loves it, though? amtrak.
>> that's right. if you're going to d.c. this week, it's probably a good idea to hop on the train. absolutely. take three, i wanted to tell you this story. that boston boat owner, where tsarnaev was caught inside the boat, on friday night, where he was cornered, it's a bit of a feel-good story in the midst of all this tragedy. he's been getting offers. obviously, the boat was all shot up and beyond repair. he's been getting offers, money has been flooding in from crowd sourcing, boat companies saying, we're going to give you a free boat. he did an interview yesterday with an affiliate there in boston , where he said, i'm just an incidental hero. i don't want a nickel of that money. i want it to go to the one boston fund. he said, "to buy me a new boat is a wonderful thing. i don't want that, really. i wish that they would donate it to the one found. they lost limbs, i lost a boat." and he went on to say, by the way, i've got a canoe in the garage that can get me through until i get a new boat. so the crowdtilt.com is the fund-raising website where he was getting all this money and he said, let's push that aside and give it to the one fund.
>> they've raised $11,000 so far and counting.
>> and we've seen these glimmers. there was that evil, but all these people rushing, to their fellow fallen bostonians.
>> i have a good story coming up friday, which is so powerful like that. you'll hear that here friday.